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Frequently Asked Questions
- The Series -

Spoilers for the series abound, so tread with caution.

What is the name of Mrs. Coulter's daemon?

He is never named in the actual series. However, the BBC radio dramas (which aired in January 2003) named him "Ozymandias".

Philip Pullman has been rather unenthusiastic about this change: "I didn't choose that name and to be frank I don't think I would have done. I imagine that the scriptwriter did get it from Shelley's poem, but you'd really have to ask her why she went for that name."

[-PHILIP PULLMAN WEBCHAT, BBC4, Jan 23 2003]

What does the word kirjava mean?

It's a Finnish word which means "multi-colored".

How does Dr. Mary Malone offer temptation?

In rough terms, Malone is the Serpent; as such, she has to tempt Lyra and Will into corruption. She does so when she tells Lyra about falling in love, and shows Lyra how to express her unconscious feelings for Will. By admitting their love for one another, Will and Lyra leave their effortlessly graceful childhood innocence behind them, and are "corrupted" by self-awareness and responsibility.

The exact mechanics of how such a corruption would work is up to individual interpretation. Malone is central for the resolution, as Pullman has mentioned in the past that people "learn" to fall in love by observing others.

Are Balthamos and Baruch homosexual?

They obviously love one another. The exact manner of their love doesn't matter. For the sake of the argument, however: Since angels have no physical bodies, they have no biological imperatives, and thus no sexual drives. According to that theory, their relationship is platonic by necessity. You may argue differently if you wish, but to focus on this pointless debate is to miss Pullman's point.

Why is the Church depicted in such a negative light?

According to Philip Pullman:
"...I was trying to hit a target that deserved hitting, and there's no merit in pulling punches when important issues are at stake. Anyway, every time I thought I was overdoing it, up came another scandal about brutal monks mistreating children in Irish schools, or sadistic nuns tormenting children in Scottish orphanages, to name but two that came up recently. These things do happen."

- (In the Readerville Forum in February 2001)

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Last modified on February 1st, 2003.

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